Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yellow Yellow launches Member:Ship

Ever since I launched Yellow Yellow we've been taking the 'double stealth' motto into our hearts and making sure that both the competition and ourselves were in a state of confusion. But as some wise man said "confusion now hath made his masterpiece".

We've spent the last two years pivoting so hard that at times we had motion sickness, but, with a little help from metoclopramide, the Yellow Yellow thinkubator is now ready to release its first non-beta product: Member:Ship.

Prior to Member:Ship we had been in private beta with StormInADCup, an application that matched people who wanted breast enlargements with those who wanted breast reductions. The idea was that, for a small fee, Yellow Yellow would find a matching implant donor saving women a large amount of money on buying newly manufactured implants.

It turns out that there's a ton of regulation around medical procedures, and women weren't as accepting of the idea as myself, Tim and Michael had imagined.

But we learnt two things from that experience: there's a lot of money 'doing nothing' (i.e. taking a fee for linking people up but not actually performing any real-world effort) and there are a lot of 'regulations' that need disrupting.

Which brings me to Member:Ship.

Cassiopeia and I have a membership of the New York Museum of Modern Art which costs $140 a year. But here's the catch: only the two of us can use it. But there are a ton of visitors to New York paying $25 each to visit MoMA. What if they could use our membership (for a small fee)? We'd get to maximize our investment and they'd get discounted entry to MoMA.

And that's how Member:Ship was born. It's a peer-to-peer exchange for sharing expensive memberships. Here's how it works.

Suppose you have a membership for the Guggenheim Museum which you use a few times a year. The rest of the time the membership lies idle. Now suppose Luigi and Gina are visiting New York from Rome and want to visit the museum but can't afford the $18 entrance fee.

Member:Ship to the rescue.

You offer your Guggenheim membership card for rental on a weekly basis for a small fee (say $10). Now Luigi and Gina get to visit the Guggenheim for a steep discount and Yellow Yellow takes a small transaction fee (10% + $2.50). Just think how fast your membership would be paid for? All you do is ship the membership cards to them and they ship them back when they're done.

Now, I can hear some naysayers harping on about 'terms and conditions', 'fraud', 'non-transferrable', and 'breach of contract'. When I hear that I just hear the sclerotic past crying out to be disrupted. There's a market for membership cards, people, and Yellow Yellow intends to be a player. Just because layers of regulations have built up like congealed lava doesn't mean it has to stay that way.

And the best part: we're not actually responsible for those legal troubles because we're an intermediary. We just take a cut of the transaction and it's up to Member:Ship listers to check the small print on their contracts. And we make that very clear to everyone who signs up in section 78 of our terms and conditions.

We believe that the world-wide membership card marketplace is worth close to $28B annually, but there's a catch. Some membership cards include photographs of the people who bought them. That's where our patent pending DoppleGanger technology comes into play.

Everyone using Member:Ship has to upload a photograph of themselves, both listers and renters. DoppleGanger uses advanced facial and hair recognition to match a renter with a membership card that is owned by someone who looks similar.

There's deep technology and a new marketplace in Member:Ship.

Sign up today for the low, low membership fee of $25.

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